The school year is winding down at Wayzata High School, and many of the students in the class of 2016 will soon head off to campuses all across the nation. But then there are students such as Camden Caron. "I'm just burned out with school right now," Caron said. Same goes for Wayzata senior Corey Eckman. "When I was on the college search, I really didn't have the spark to go to college," Eckman said. Instead of going off to college, they plan on following the lead of President Obama's daughter, Malia, and taking a "gap year." "I feel like taking a gap year gives me the opportunity to take a break from school and to go out and experience other cultures," Caron said. "I just decided to do a gap year to help out around the world and in this country as well," Eckman said. Of the roughly 760 seniors at Wayzata High School, counselors say only one percent plan to take a year off from school before starting college. "I think gap year can be a good option for kids, and maybe underutilized as well," said Mandy Randall, a guidance counselor at Wayzata. Doing your research Randall is an advocate of the gap year idea, provided that students have done their research. "The opportunities and the self-awareness that you can gain, some kids just need that," Randall said. "Some kids just aren't ready to jump right from high school to another academic setting." Caron says he's weighing several options. "The top one is being able to go to Australia and work in a school with younger children," he said. Eckman is still deciding on a plan as well. "I know I do want to work with kids and work with the less fortunate and give back -- give my time instead of being stuck in a classroom," she said. Costs to a gap year Counselors say that any student thinking about a gap year should first talk with their family to see if it's a right fit, because most gap year programs come with costs that could range between $20 to $60,000 for living expenses. Yet experience is what has Wayzata's gap year students looking forward to what lies ahead. "I'm just really excited for the journey," Eckman said. Counselors say that any student who plans on taking a gap year should still apply to a college during their senior year. They can then ask their college of choice to defer their acceptance for a year. Delane Cleveland http://twelve.tv http://www.facebook.com/12localnews http://twitter.com/12sports http://twitter.com/12localnews
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